National Road Safety Week runs until November 23 to highlight the importance of road safety to both road users and pedestrians.
For many parents and schools in the area the concerns raised during this week are continuous throughout the year. Both schools and parents face the daily anxiety of ensuring the safe passage of our schoolchildren to and from school, says former Mayor of Hebden Royd, Coun Scott Trickett, who has campaigned on road safety issues for more than eight years years.
“For many years I have been concerned about road traffic safety and this concern has amplified since I had children.
“During these meetings and many school assemblies that I attended, number one concern was road safety outside our regions schools. Main issues cited were speed of vehicles and having a clearway or safezone outside of school gates.
“Since this time and as a very concerned parent myself I have been committed to trying to improve the situation to make our school have safer zones around them. I wrote many times as Mayor to highlight this issue however Calderdale cited budgets as a reason not to address this. With the safety of all our children paramount, this has made me more determined to ensure these issues are dealt with. Traffic speed concerns have been raised over many years and the 20 mph program is finally rolling out across our region. We are however trying to get commitment from Calderdale for each remaining school to alleviate the ongoing problems.
“Speed however is only part of the problem. Areas outside of our schools are designated clearways. This is to ensure no parked vehicles are causing physical obstruction which then cause subsequent blockages for through traffic, such as pavement mounting of moving vehicles, there are also risks associated with sight lines being blocked so children cannot see moving cars past parked cars and vice-versa cars not seeing children.
“To this end I have asked all the schools in our area to record accidents and near misses so these can be reported to Calderdale to keep up the pressure,” he said.
He believed any council resistance to initiatives such as bollards and safety railings which had been requested to be sited around our local schools to act as physical barriers to prevent car mounting pavements should be tackled.
He claimed 51 of Calderdale’s schools have still issues with the clearways and safezones and this is totally unacceptable.
Coun Trickett said: “I urge as many people who may be concerned to voice these concerns by writing to Calderdale Council’s highways department, their local Calderdale councillor or school to highlight any issues in relation to school safe zones.
“Please also feel free to call me 01422 884909 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your concerns.”